The concept for Mother Lode began in the early 1970s when the rivers of California were in imminent danger of destruction by dams. The company has, at its heart, the conservation of rivers. It has grown over the years to become one of the largest permitted outfitters on California’s most popular whitewater river, the South Fork of the American. In the year 2000 it added a Challenge Ropes Course, Outdoor Education Program and in 2008 added a Sustainable Practices Program. It operates from one of the original and most beautiful camps in the West Coast, the largest camp owned by an outfitter, the Mother Lode River Center, over 19 acres and a half of a mile of riverfront on the South Fork of the American River in Lotus, California.
- Outfitting capacity in one day: 243 on the South Fork American River. Smaller numbers on the Middle and North Forks of the American.
- Camping capacity: 300 persons. Accommodations range from camping out under the stars to full-sized beds and can accommodate everyone from single campers to large groups and families. Special events can also be coordinated through Mother Lode. The grounds also contain three full outdoor kitchens, one of which is available for rent to groups.
- Number of participants: Since its inception 44 years ago, Mother Lode has introduced more than 280,000 people to nature. Each year, approximately 6,000 people participate in the rafting and outdoor education adventures.
Contacts & Location
Mother Lode River Center
Address: 6280 Hwy 49, Lotus, Ca., 95651
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 456, Coloma, Ca. 95613-0456
Office Hours: Mon-Fri; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Memorial Day to Labor Day; Off-season hours vary.
- Community Sustainability: Progress Redefined by Scott Underwood; Published in “The Current”, the American River Conservancy’s quarterly newsletter, June, July, August 2010.
- Health in Nature: The Science by Scott Underwood; Published in “The Current”, the American River Conservancy’s quarterly newsletter, Dec. 20, 2009. Read it in the Mother Lode Blog or at Ezine Articles.com
- Bumps in the Road to Carbon Neutral by Scott Scheu and Scott Underwood; Read it at Ezine Articles.com
Awards and Accolades
- Recognized by Friends of the River as “An Outstanding Outfitter in the Service of River Conservation.”
- Dr. Scott Underwood and the Mother Lode River Center were honored by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) by being selected as a presenter in the Green Operations and Technology Track, Conservation Section at their Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. https://malode.com/about/ecotourism-society
- Featured on “Experience El Dorado,” produced by Todd Stanley of Discovery Channel’s “The Deadliest Catch,” and shown on ABC Channel 10. Their “Green” segment featured businesses that make a point of reducing their ecological impact.
- Mother Lode River Center partnered with the American River Conservancy (ARC) in celebrating 20 years of conservation efforts by the ARC at the “Starthistle Ball.” One highlight of the event was a video presentation of ARC history created by Emmy Award winning videographer Janice Stanley.
Photos and Videos
Contact Mother Lode for permission to use any images from this website. They are protected by copyright law.
Owner: Scott Underwood
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Years with Malode: 36
Operations Manager: Scotty Scheu
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Years with Malode: 13
Office Manager: Penny Gonzales
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Years with Mother Lode: 9
- The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
- American River Conservancy (ARC)
- Friends of the River (FOR)
- Headwaters Institute